Constitution

ARTICLE 1: Name and address

The name is the ACCREDITATION COUNCIL OF ONCOLOGY IN EUROPE or ACOE. ACOE is an accreditation council of ECCO – the European CanCer Organisation, an international association under Belgian Law, registered office, 83, avenue E. Mounier, B-1200 Brussels.

ARTICLE 2: Purpose

The primary function of ACOE will be the accreditation of CME European activities offered by organisations, societies and similar groups (subsequently referred to as "organiser"). CME consists of educational activities which serve to maintain, develop or increase the knowledge, skills, professional performance and relationships that a clinical or experimental oncologist, cancer nurse or other health professional uses to provide services for patients, the public or the profession. In relation to this function, ACOE will review, evaluate CME activities in the field of oncology. ACOE will provide standards in the form of guidelines for an organiser to observe. ACOE will not involve itself in accrediting individuals.

Organisers shall be considered to include:

  • European,  national and local societies and organisations involved in the research treatment and care of cancer.
  • Other educational and professional organisations (e.g. those organisations with an educational infrastructure  including, Universities, Medical Schools, Teaching Hospital, health care faculties) and organisations involved in the research treatment and care of cancer.

Industry

Educational activities in which industry is involved can only be considered for accreditation by ACOE if the preparation and execution of its educational activities is governed by one of the organisations listed in 1 - 2 (who will be deemed to be the organiser for the event). The organiser must guarantee that the CME event meets the  criteria for quality in the guidelines issued by ACOE. Financial support for an educational activity by a commercial organisation does not negatively affect its eligibility for accreditation approval by ACOE. The organiser must be able to prove that the standards in the ACOE guidelines have been applied to each educational activity.

Secondary function of ACOE

In the future, ACOE may be involved in developing the general concept of CME in Europe. In this capacity, its role will include the following:

  • To act as an advisor and facilitator in bringing relevant educational developments to the attention of its governing body, ECCO – the European CanCer Organisation ETC.
  • To actively promote CME in general and the accreditation of CME in Europe by means of texts, seminars, segments of conferences devoted to CME and any other appropriate method of publication.
  • To set up and maintain contacts with non-oncology CME groups in Europe as well as CME experts in the USA and other Countries outside of Europe to facilitate free flow of ideas and information.
  • To assist societies and interested groups in the planning of a comprehensive long term programme of CME activities which will reach as many health professionals in Europe as possible.

ARTICLE 3: Membership

ACOE shall consist of one nominated member from each of the following societies and organisations:

European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO)
European Society of Surgical Oncology (ESSO)
European Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ESTRO)
European Association of Cancer Research (EACR)
European Oncology Nursing Society (EONS)
International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP Europe)
European School of Oncology (ESO)
European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC)

The nominated individual shall have a recognised expertise in education. The membership of ACOE may be revised to add or subtract membership of this Council by the decision of the ECCO – the European CanCer Organisation Council. No member of ACOE shall  also serve as a member of the Education and Training Committee and vice versa.

Period of service

The term of office for a councillor shall be two  years beginning at the end of one ECCO and terminating at the end of the next but one ECCO. Councillors shall be allowed to serve for one further term of two years after which they shall become ineligible for a period of two years. Any invitation for a councillor to extend the original two-year term should be made by the society or organisation to which they belong, by decision of the board of the relevant society or organisation.

In the nomination procedure, attention should be paid to avoid a complete change of the membership in order to ensure continuity in the  work and spirit of ACOE.

Chairmanship

The Chairman of ACOE will be elected from the representatives of the full member societies of ECCO – the European CanCer Organisation . In order to ensure continuity, any elected Chairman shall have served in the Council for at least  one year.  The Chairman shall be elected according to his ability to assume the tasks required by his function:

  • ability to chair the council,
  • ability to take a decision in case of divergent opinions among the assessors selected  to review and evaluate an application an activity,
  • ability to take a leading role in the different activities linked with CME (e.g. discussions within the  UEMS about mutual recognition)

The term of office of the Chairman shall be of a period of two years. The changeover should take place immediately after ECCO.

ARTICLE 4: Modus Operandi

Meetings

ACOE will meet four times in the first year of  operation. The frequency of meetings thereafter will be defined by ACOE according  to the volume of work to be carried out. ACOE shall have the remit to invite observers to attend its meetings if a majority of the councillors agree that the observation has merit.

Quorum

A majority of ACOE shall constitute a quorum, provided that representatives from at least five of the eight societies represented on ACOE  are present.

Substitution

A substitute for each councillor should be identified and agreed between the councillor and the president of the society or organisation to which the councillor belongs. In the event of unavailability of the councillor, the substitute will attend meetings of ACOE and/or review and evaluate CME activities.

Accountability of ACOE to ECCO – the European CanCer Organisation

ACOE will function under the remit of the ECCO – the European CanCer Organisation Education and Training Committee (ETC). ACOE will function as an independent body within the framework of the educational arm of ECCO – the European CanCer Organisation. Decisions pertaining to accreditation will be made independently of the ETC but, the ETC will remain as an advisory body for ACOE and ACOE may seek the views of the ETC as part of its decision  making process in any matters relating to accreditation. ACOE will report annually to the ETC summarising key developments over the previous year and recommending strategy for the future. ACOE will be subject to internal and external review at regular intervals.

Conflict at the ACOE level

In the event of a conflict of decision amongst the councillors of ACOE, the matter must be put before the chairman of ACOE and/or ETC depending on the subject. The Chairman of the ETC will act as the final arbitrator. Failure to resolve the matter at this level will result in the matter being taken to the ECCO – the European CanCer Organisation board.